Skip To Main Content

Interview with the host family coordinator, Mrs. Caroline Leonard

Caroline Leonard
  • Host Family Programmes

Question.- How long has the school been working with the Host family programme for?

Answer.- Since SEK Dublin was established in 1981 – nearly 40 years!

Q.- What is the role of the host family when hosting a SEK Student and what is expected from them?

A.- Naturally, the family is required to provide comfortable accommodation, nutritious food and a safe, friendly environment where our students are encouraged to hone their English language skills.    However, the programme is so much more than that!   Most host families become the student’s surrogate family and provide a true “home away from home”.     Our students are fully emerged in family life – and are encouraged to join their host brothers and sisters in sporting and leisure pursuits.   The experience is of enormous benefit to everyone concerned and life-long friendships are regularly forged.

Q.- How do you choose the “perfect family” for each boarding student?

A.- I find out as much as I can about the student – referring to their official Application Interview and the Profile form which they complete.   The more information I have the better the match.     I then apply my personal and detailed knowledge of every host family and do a little “match-making”!     No algorithms used – every family is hand-picked!

Q.- Do the Host Families interact and build a relationship with the student´s birth/legal family?

A.- Sometimes! The tone of the relationship is normally set by the student’s own family.   If they “reach out” to the host family – that family will respond.     I think it’s always a good idea to make contact with the host family before the student arrives at SEK Dublin.    Even if only by email.      Sometimes, communication can be difficult – due to language barriers – but Google Translate is a wonderful tool.